|Lucky for you! I am covering up all of my offensive body parts ;)|
The blog was received very positively and I loved and cherished every comment I got from it. It was such a great experience. This week Kiyonna uploaded photos from that blog post on their public Facebook page. I wasn't expecting it, since it had been so long ago, so I was surprised when I ran across it. "Hey alright!" I said to myself. "500 likes and loads of comments. That's pretty cool." So I looked at them, and while the majority of them were super positive and wonderful (these women clearly got the point), I was shocked and amazed at the vitriolic hate that spewed from the fingers of several women (many of them plus-sized themselves). I am paraphrasing here, but I promise I am not far from their exact words- the photos were lewd and disgusting, plus size women should never model anything, there was NO way I was a 1X, I have flabby arms, fat legs, and a gross ass, I should never be seen in public in a swimsuit.
I mean suffice to say I was a little shocked. Kiyonna is usually such a positive place, and I grew up repeating the adage of "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." It's one thing to criticize the swimsuit. In fact I complained within the post about sizing up and losing bust support, so I agree with posts that said I needed more bust support. But my flabby arms disgust you? Yikes, not much I can do about that. And that is the difference between constructive criticism and just plain ol' hate. I will admit I was secretly quite pleased at the women, all of them complete strangers, who jumped to my defense. It was a pretty amazing feeling.
|Thoughtfully wondering what the hell is wrong with some people!|
I also feel like many of the women completely understood and appreciated the story behind the bathing suit and the guts it took to bare all. I can't say my feelings were hurt. One woman remarked that I shouldn't have posted it for everyone to see if I didn't want them to talk about how gross I looked. Fair enough, I opened myself up to the criticism. Another came to my defense (?) and told her to come to my blog and tell me how ugly I was. Her logic being- I have so much confidence that I wouldn't give a crap about what she had to say. Lots of my defenders mentioned that the women must be self-loathing, and it brings up an interesting point.
Confidence is not thinking "Damn, I look awesome in this. I am the finest thing in the world." Confidence is loving and accepting yourself. There's a huge difference between cockiness and confidence. I make no bones about it- I am big. I have flabby arms, a big stomach, big thighs, a couple of chins- I don't look like Kate Upton or Kate Moss in a swimsuit. I won't ever look like that. Confidence is loving and accepting myself enough to not be bothered about it. I am what I am. Is it perfect? Of course not. Is it photoshopped? Nope. Is it me? Yep. And I love me.
I wasn't upset by the comments. Interestingly enough, when you are a model of confidence for other women and they are commending you for your bravery and beauty and celebrating a body that looks like the one they see in the mirror, it's really hard to get down or lose confidence. I couldn't dwell on it. I read the comments, sharing the really mean ones with my husband, laughed, shook my head, and closed the window. The end. Would I want to print it out or see it everyday or have these women comment on my blog every day? Hell no! I'm not a masochist!
I think it's a sad world when people purposely look for things to criticize and troll on (Allie wrote so much more eloquently on this subject, so read it here!). They can say it has nothing to do with jealousy or their own body issues, but I hope and pray they aren't raising girls. Can you imagine growing up under a woman who would so violently despise someone because of some arm fat and a bathing suit? What message are these children hearing every day? So I end by saying I am often complimented on my confidence, but it wasn't until this happened that my confidence was truly tested and I saw what I was really made of. Women always comment that they wish they had my confidence, so I share with you and implore you to love and accept yourself and from that you will see your confidence grow.
Thanks for sticking with me :)